29 Nov 2011

Cerebos considers walking away from Comvita offer

9:09 pm on 29 November 2011

Cerebos says it may walk away from its takeover offer for Comvita and look at buying another player in the market or launching manuka honey products under its own brand.

The company is discrediting an independent report by Grant Samuel, saying it wrongly valued Comvita at between $3.40 to $4 per share - at least a third above its $2.50 bid.

Chief executive George Crocker says the Cerebos board recognises the offer will not succeed and will decide within a week what action to take.

"I don't need to convince the shareholders that $3.40 is not credible. I simply am not going to offer that price. So the shareholders will have a choice between holding their shares or accepting an offer that I, or another party, is willing to offer," he says.

He says the appraisal relies on 2012 profit forecasts for Comvita and does not consider all the risks the company faces.

Mr Crocker said dialogue with the board of Comvita became hostile when Cerebos put its offer on the table.

The company has until 7 December to extend the offer.

Comvita maintains the company is worth well over $4 per share and says shareholders should hold on tight to their stock amid further interest from other parties.